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Frequently Asked Questions

Since I put up my page, I have been getting a lot of questions. I am more than happy to try and answer them. However, I  am not going to get into discussions as to the quality of one kit over another or why I chose IFG over other manufacturers.  I did my research, followed the recommendations of the publications, visited the manufacture and I made my decision to buy the Phantom Roadster. I believe I went into this with my eyes wide open. I recommend that anyone who is going to build a kit take the time to do the necessary research. What I will attempt to do is communicate how I am assembling the vehicle and any problems or solutions that I come across.
Q. Where can I learn about building a kit car? A.I would suggest the following, subscribe to Kit Car and Kit Car Illustrated. (You can actually subscribe to Kit Car Illustrated from this link if you wish to. I am trying to get Kit Car available as well) These are both good publications that keep tabs on the industry. Look at Kit Car web site and check out their consumer alerts section. They also offer a Kit Car Buyers Guide. Consider a book "The Car Builders Guide" by Doug McCleary published by H.P. Books.Cory Rudl also has a book called "Secrets of Buying and building your Specialty Car on a Small Budget" Click here for more books
Q. In you research for the engine upgrade did consider the longitudinally mounted V8? A.I originally considered going with a small block chevy with the 914 transaxle.  I was concerned that the 914 wouldn't handle the stress with 25" of rubber on the road.  I understand you need to consider horsepower, torque and traction in making these decisions.  By the time I got a quote for a 915 or 911 which would handle it I was up to $2,500-3,000 just for the tranny.  By the time I added in clutch, starter, etc. the Northstar was a better solution for me.
Q. How are you going to cool the Northstar? A.This is going to involve adding two additional (three total) radiators. It looks like I can add one on each side in front of the rear wheels and then duct the scoops into provide airflow and cooling.  I'm not there yet and I still have a lot of research to do. UPDATE: I am going to go with just two radiators in the back like the original Lambo has them installed. I will leave the front configuration for the AC coils. I will put the transmission cooler and oil cooler in front of the back radiators.
Q.How much did it cost?  UPDATED 10/15/00 A.There are many factors that have gone into the cost.  I have kept a spreadsheet of all the costs and as of 10/15/2000 the cost are $36,804. I estimate that he total cost will be 40,000 +before I am done. I have not added in the costs of the tools like air compressor, drill press, welder, grinders etc. because I can use them for more than just the kit.
Q.With two previous kits under your belt can a first time kit builder do this? A.It would be tough but doable.  You need to be able to weld, fabricate pieces, work with fiber glass and be able to improvise.  A lot would depend on how much patience you have.  Because I have built others, I think my expectations were realistic.  I will end up with a beautiful car, but it will be lot of work. UPDATE: Having worked on the car for over 6 months, I would not recommend this  for a first time builder unless they really knew what they were getting into and that their expectations were realistic. It is not just a bolt on application.
Q.Did you go to CA to pickup your kit from IFG or was it shipped to your home. A.I visited IFG in December 1997 and toured their facilities.  They had lots of cars in various stages and that is a good sign. They are extremely busy.  I had the kit shipped to me which is expensive and it comes in a crate 16' x 7' x 4' and if you don't have a loading dock, you have to take it apart on the truck.  That's what I had to do.  IFG did 
not ship all of the parts at the time and I am still waiting for some things but I have no doubt that I will get everything that I paid for. It is just taking longer. 
Q.Are the instructions detailed enough to build the car? A.The kit comes with a video, blueprints and a small instruction manual with wiring diagrams and drawings of key components.  The Video is quite detailed but it is for the VT and the SE, not the Roadster.  I approached Ray about doing a more comprehensive manual and we came to an arrangement.  I am producing a Phantom Roadster Instruction Manual for IFG that will be available on CD-ROM.  It is in PDF format and the CD will have the Acrobat readers on the CD.  It is comprised of step by step illustrations taken from scanned photos, digital cameras, video captures and anything else that I can do to make the manual clear.  When I run into questions, Ray has been very good about providing answers. 
Q.Are you concerned about the body flex with the roadster? A.With the sub frame welded underneath and the strength of the plates that have been added on the stretch, I do feel that the body will have the required rigidity. I won't actually know how this works out until I get to that stage.
Q.Is this kit an exact replica of a Lamborghini Roadster? A.While the kit may not be an exact replica, I certaintly think that the average person will never be able to tell the difference. Check out this roadster site and compare it to IFGs roadster pictures.
Q.Where can I find Insurance? A.Most specialty insurance companies offer policies but they will have mileage caps on them. These are a listing of insurance companies form Kit Car magazine as a starting point.